Taxi driver needed reconstructive surgery after being attacked by Kibworth man trying to avoid paying fare of less than £20

A Kibworth man has been found guilty of breaking a taxi driver's jaw and leaving without paying the fare.

Joe Connors, 19, of Dairy Way, Kibworth Harcourt was convicted today (April 1) of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent. He will be sentenced on Friday, April 26.

Station Street in Kibworth

Station Street in Kibworth

The court was told that on the evening of Friday, August 11, 2017, a taxi driver picked up four people from Leicester and agreed to take them to Kibworth.

As they approached Kibworth, the driver dropped two of the passengers off and continued taking the two remaining passengers to The Railway pub in Station Street.

The two men left the car saying they were going into the pub to get some cash as payment for the fare entering through a side door.

The driver got out of the taxi to stretch his legs and saw the two men exiting the front door and believed they were attempting to make off without paying the fare.

He asked them for the fare and after arguing amongst themselves as to who should pay, one of them suddenly punched the driver to the ribs. The second man punched him to the face and threw him against some metal railings causing him to hit his face once more.

The victim was taken to hospital and it was confirmed he had sustained a broken eye socket, a broken jaw and a broken cheekbone in the assault.

Through their investigation, officers were able to identity Connors as a suspect and he was interviewed by police and later charged.

Despite extensive enquiries including a social media appeal, the other man involved in the assault, was never identified.

Detective Constable Rob Pountney was the investigating officer and said this incident has a dramatic effect on the victim and his ability to work and provide for his family.

He said: “The victim sustained some significant facial injuries later undergoing reconstructive surgery and having a metal place placed into his face. He continues to this day to be in pain from the injuries he sustained.

“Connors chose to assault the victim and inflict some nasty injuries all for the sake of a taxi fare of less than £20. While his conviction doesn’t take away the continued pain that the victim suffers, I hope he can take some little comfort in that the person responsible is has been found guilty at court and will be punished accordingly when sentenced at court.”